Support Cancer research

At ACRF we believe that together we can outsmart all cancers,
and we won’t stop until we do.

Cancer’s devastating effects are felt in every Australian community. Each year more than 124,000 Australians, young and old, men and women, will be diagnosed with cancer.

While there has been great progress in research into many cancers in the last few years, more funds are needed to ensure researchers have the latest technology and equipment.

ACRF was founded in 1984 by the late Sir Peter Abeles and the late Lady Sonia McMahon. Their vision was to fill a gap in scientific funding by providing large grants (minimum of $1 million) needed for cancer research equipment, technology and infrastructure.

Honouring their legacy, we focus exclusively on providing Australia’s best scientists with the tools they need to outsmart cancer.

Our focus attracts and inspires the best and brightest scientific minds to take on ground-breaking new cancer research as we work together to outsmart this terrible disease.


Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters – individuals, families, organisations and community groups from around Australia – each year we are able to award high-impact grants, allowing Australia’s best scientists to embark on ground-breaking research projects. These projects cover prevention, diagnosis and treatment for all types of cancer.

The support we have received has funded many projects that
continue to have a long lasting worldwide impact.

    For example, your donations contributed to the initial seed funding to Professor Ian Frazer’s research into the cervical cancer (HPV) vaccine. Over 150 million doses of vaccine have been delivered worldwide to date. Thanks to an universal immunisation program, Australia is set to be the first country to effectively eliminate the disease.


    Together we have supported cancer research at WEHI, which has led to a treatment that melts away certain advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The treatment has been approved for clinical use in the US, European Union and Australia and is now being trialled for other types of cancer.


    In 2015, your donations enabled ACRF to grant $10 million seed funding to an ambitious cancer proteome project that aims to provide each cancer patient a personalised treatment plan within 36 hours. This will dramatically improve treatment outcomes and help avoid unnecessary treatments.


    With your contributions, ACRF became one of the founding partners of an initiative that will tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer in Australia. It is a key step towards the program's vision of one day helping to cure 100% of children with cancer.


There are many not-for-profit cancer foundations in the charitable giving sector, all doing fantastic work. To help you distinguish ACRF from other cancer charities:

  • We fund research into ALL types of cancer, in research institutes, universities and hospitals ALL across Australia.

  • ACRF funds are directed to purchase state of the art equipment and technologies that speed up the scientific discovery process – ultimately working to save lives by saving time.

  • The cancer research we fund is assessed according to the world-class standards of an esteemed scientific committee of Australian and international cancer researchers.


The donations we receive go to research with the potential to outsmart cancer – research that is vital to the development of effective treatments and diagnostic measures for all types of cancer.

Thanks to our esteemed Medical Research Advisory Committee, we are able to ensure that the most promising cancer research initiatives receive funding. The Committee is comprised of some of Australia’s most respected cancer scientists. Each application is assessed on its potential to make ground-breaking progress in cancer treatment, diagnosis and prevention.

thank you

On behalf of Australia’s leading cancer researchers, we thank our donors, partners and supporters. It is your generosity that makes it possible to provide these major grants – we receive no funding from any other source.